Frequently Asked Questions

What is Brief Therapy?
Brief Therapy defines problems as temporary and changeable. Together, you and the therapist define a problem and determine several measurable goals and objectives designed to resolve the problem. These goals are the focus of the treatment and are reviewed frequently. You and the therapist will determine what the desired outcome will look like. In this way, both will know when the therapy is complete. The emphasis is on the present and future, not on past events (although past events may be reviewed to put the current difficulties into context). Ineffective interventions are discarded. The therapist is actively involved in the therapy sessions, not passive. There is a recognition that human change is inevitable, and an emphasis on client strengths and resources.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is research-based form of therapy that helps change your brain chemistry without the use of medications.  To a large extent, the way you feel is a byproduct of your thoughts. Harmful, negative, unproductive, or irrational thoughts often lead to depression, anxiety, and unnecessary stress. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy examines your thought process and allows you to replace self-defeating thoughts with rational, positive thoughts. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, you will examine your negative thoughts from an objective and rational perspective, and effectively retrain your brain to identify (and change) these types of distorted thinking.

How is Brief Therapy different from traditional therapy?
In traditional therapy, the therapist is often seen as the ‘expert’, possessing a knowledge and awareness of the client’s problem that the client needs to obtain. In Brief Therapy, the therapist and client work collaboratively to understand and solve the problem. Both the client and therapist have particular areas of expertise. In traditional therapy, the client is often viewed as having ongoing difficulties as a result of past events. In Brief Therapy, the client is viewed as having been influenced but not determined by past events. Just as the client may have deficits resulting from their past, they also have strengths and resources that are emphasized. Traditional therapy tends to focus on the past and how it led to the problem at hand; Brief Therapy focuses on the present and future and is solution-oriented.

How long is “brief”?
“Brief” therapy is defined in contrast to “long-term” therapy in that the focus of treatment is on specific, measurable, short-term goals. The length of treatment is dependent upon the client’s achievement of these goals. The philosophy of Brief Therapy is to not spend great amounts of time in therapy. The therapist’s commitment is that a client’s outside life is more important than therapy and that therapy is not “timeless”. There is a conscious and conscientious use of time and a frequent review of progress. New solutions are targeted if previous solutions are found to be ineffective. Brief therapy may occur episodically over years with challenging problems such as severe abuse or trauma.

What is expected of me, and what should I expect from my therapist?
As a client, it is helpful for you to embrace the idea that change is possible. Not everyone who appears in therapy is a candidate for change. As a client, you will be expected to be able to acknowledge that you have a problem and embrace a willingness to work on it. You should see yourself as being part of a solution. Your therapist can guide you to finding the tools you need to resolve your difficulties. It is your therapist’s job to help clarify objectives and to put them, if possible, in attainable form. Together, you and your therapist will first define the problem and then determine goals that include a description of what a positive outcome will look like. You will also define the objectives that will help you work toward achieving your goal.

What problems can’t be helped by Brief Therapy?
Most problems can be helped by Brief Therapy. However, individuals with substance abuse problems who are actively using those substances would be better served at a substance abuse facility.

Is my confidentiality guaranteed?
Information that you discuss in your therapy session is confidential. However, you should be aware that their are two circumstances which it is not possible for us to protect your confidentiality. As mandated New York State reporters, we are obligated to report any situation in which child abuse or neglect may be occurring. Additionally, we have a “duty to warn,” which means that if there is a likelihood that you may harm yourself or someone else, we will need to take steps to report the situation to the appropriate authorities to ensure safety. We also are obligated to comply with the federal and state legal system for subpoenaed records.

When are appointments available?
Appointments are available during regular weekday business hours. Please call us at (607) 275-3675 or email us at for the availability of specific appointment times.